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Trio traps C-USA honors

On Tuesday, the USF women’s soccer team received its first victory before the Bulls even hit the field.

Senior Tia Opliger, sophomore Breck Bankester and freshman Katie Reed were each rewarded for their big seasons as Opliger earned first-team All-Conference honors, Bankester earned a nod on the third team and Reed made the all-freshman team during the postseason banquet held in Charlotte, N.C. The last time USF had three players on conference teams was in 2000. Reed is also the fifth freshman in school history to make the all-freshman team.

“They were all very well-deserved,” coach Logan Fleck said. “If you look at the preseason teams, no one was on it. It means a lot that those three made it. And to see Tia make first team five years later, she’s worth every bit of it. I was determined to see Opliger go out as a first-teamer.”

Senior Aleia Long and sophomore Stacci Sastre also were honored as they received certificates as Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week.

The All-Conference teams for Bankester and Reed were firsts for both players.

“I was so surprised and happy,” Bankester said. “I give my main props to my defense and Michelle Upham and Stacci Sastre for being there every game. I just have so much trust in them.”

Despite starting only five games, Reed played in all 16 games and was an immediate impact in the midfield.

“I credit my team and coach,” Reed said.